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Saving Food: A Roasted Red Pepper Recipe

Roasted_red_pepper

A big part of cooking for one’s family is managing all the food in the house. When I was a teenager, my mother used to keep gallon jugs of milk in the fridge, and while I don’t think we drank from them straight out of the container, we certainly raced through them. I don’t know how many times she must have had to shop each week, but it had to be more than a few times.

My problem right now is finding the balance between buying too little and buying too much. I currently have four ears of corn that I cooked on Friday, and that neither Santa Maria nor any of the kids wanted. I might have to write off those ears, but I hate to see things go to waste.

The other night I was going through the fridge to make my quinoa salad, and I realized that I had an extra red bell pepper that wasn’t going to last much longer. I knew I wouldn't be using it anytime soon, so I roasted it, sliced it, and put it in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It will now be good for another few days, if not weeks.

Roasting a pepper is easy. Here's how to do it:

Just rinse it and put it on a gas burner, and turn on the flame. Using tongs, rotate or otherwise move the pepper around so every side of it becomes charred all over.

When it is as black as you can get it, put it in a bowl and cover the top tightly with plastic wrap. Leave it for about fifteen minutes, or longer, and after the pepper cools its skin will slide right off. Knock and rinse (see comment from Matt, below) off the seeds and any bits of charred skin, then slice it and put in a container with enough olive oil and vinegar to cover. I added a bit of oregano, and I’m looking forward to having them on a sandwich or crackers sometime in the near future.

What are some of the things you do to preserve any extra food you have on hand?  Anyone have any ideas about what I can do with those ears of corn?

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